Dr. Tina Sampalis on Neptune Krill Oil

- Breakthrough in Omega-3 Nutrition

(Editor�s note: Dr. Tina Sampalis was interviewed by True Health editor Tom Valentine over his True Health talk show. This is an edited transcript that unfortunately cannot convey the bright young woman�s delightful French Canadian accent.)

Tom: Tina, first let's get a little about you.  You are both a PhD and an MD, I think.

Tina:  Yes, my first training was for an M.D.  I am an oncologist-surgeon specializing in breast cancer and I have two PhD's in innovative technology. I am the vice president of research and development for Neptune Technologies.

Tom: That's pretty darn good isn't it? 

Tina:  It is very interesting and it has given me a very, very interesting challenge for the last three years of my life.

Tom: So, for the last three years you have been looking into the nutritive value of krill oil, which the Japanese have unsuccessfully tried to develop for about 80 years. However, a Canadian scientist figured out how to effectively bring Krill Oil to the market. I am very proud to say that my company, Carotec is the first to bring Neptune Krill Oil to the American market. Tina, I would like you to just go ahead and describe everything that you wish to tell us about Krill oil before I start asking questions.

Tina:  I call Neptune Krill Oil nature's perfect recipe. It's like what nature intended for humans by putting it in a small and plentiful marine animal. And we bring it all to you in a soft gel capsule. The reason that I am saying it is a perfect recipe is because if you look at the components�at what Neptune Krill Oil is made of�it provides everything that we humans need in order to be able to go through the stressful lives that we are, unfortunately going through right now. For example, the first, and the main component, are the phospholipids found in the oil. There are many reasons that these phospholipids are so important. First of all every single cell in our body needs proper phospholipids in order to be healthy, and enough for the cell to be able to fight against combative stress and against all these toxins that are out there trying to destroy our health constantly. Additionally, our brain needs these particular types of phospholipids that only Neptune Krill Oil offers. This is why we were able to obtain a worldwide patent�because these are completely new and novel molecules, which are exactly what our brain needs in order for it to function properly.

Tom: Well wait a minute, that's news.

Tina:  Of course that's news.

Tom: But, phosphatidylserine, and phosphatidylcholine, are well known as brain supplements are they not?

Tina:  Many of them are taken from beef liver or a cows brain. What the problem is with those commercial phospholipids, is that they are all phosphatidyl such as phosphatidylcholine but what makes it a phospholipid is defined by what type of fat is attached to it.  Because from the word�let's look where the word comes from. Phospholipid� means phosphorus and lipids which is fat right.

Tom: Yes.

Tina:  So, in order for our body to utilize the phospholipid properly, it has to have the right type of fat attached to it.  Our body needs, as we all well know by now, as much omega-3 as possible.  So here we are, for the first time ever, Neptune Krill Oil brings to you a phospholipid that is so rich in omega-3 fatty acids that it has never been seen before anywhere in science or in the market.

Tom: And there it is almost at the bottom of the food chain.

Tina:  Yes, at the bottom of the food chain, and at Neptune Technologies we are happy because we are the only ones that know how to effectively provide it to the market, and we can prove it. I have to say to you that every single word you hear coming out of my mouth today is scientifically validated.

Tom: Well, that's your job�it better be.

Tina:  It better be. Exactly. And that's why Neptune tells me to do this job because I only know how to do scientific research. And that is what they wanted for their product.  So we are one of the few neutraceutical companies that can stand with science behind our product and say we are the best because we have scientific validation for every word we say.

Tom: Phospholipids, are extremely important because they are part of the eicosonoids system an extremely important hormone messenger system in the cells of the body.

Tina:  Exactly. Another very important thing in krill oil are the various natural antioxidants that it has in it.

Tom: And that prevents this highly unsaturated oil from going rancid?

Tina:  Yes, that keeps it from going rancid, and that keeps us who are taking it from getting old.  That's why when you ask me how old I am or note that I am rather young, yes�and as long as I keep on taking Neptune Krill Oil I will always remain young because it has astaxanthin a carotenoid which has been proven to fight aging.  Krill oil also naturally contains a novel flavonoid that is, again, a new molecule. It is he first flavonoid to ever be extracted from an animal mass. Until today flavonoids were always extracted either from fruit or vegetables.

Tom: Now, as a scientist, when you first ran into that molecule�it was your job to break these molecules down to see exactly what there composition was and everything, chemically, correct? When you saw this you had to figure out what kind of a molecule it was and you had to be surprised that you found a flavonoid in animal oil.

Tina:  I couldn't believe it.  I had to send it to three different labs in the States and ask them to analyze it and three different flavonoid experts analyzed it in order to confirm that I was not hallucinating. Then I started jumping up and down with excitement. Since then I have this incredible smile that I can not erase because every time I think of the flavonoid I know we have a winner.

Tom: Yes, apparently you do have a winner, and one of these days soon, I imagine, I'm going to see your name on a scientific paper.

Tina:  Well, the paper is coming.

Tom: That's good. And when it comes out I'm going to tell everybody about it.

Tina:  Well, you will be able to tell about a paper very soon because our first phase-two clinical trial that has been completed will be published soon. So, you will see our first publication of a clinical trial that is performed as if it was a pharmaceutical with incredible results on premenstrual syndrome.

Tom: Now, this is one of the big ones for women. There are all kinds of problems with the premenstrual syndrome in our society and that is a very big subject.

Tina:  Yes, 85% of the menstruating population at reproductive age has a problem with premenstrual syndrome.  And believe it or not Tom it's the main reason, the number one cause for days of worked lost and for stress in relationships amongst couples.

Tom: That is really interesting.  This is very, very major.

Tina:  Absolutely.

Tom: What is it about the Krill oil that deals with this problem? Is it the hormonal side, the combination of the fats?

Tina:  It's the combination, as I told you it is nature's perfect recipe. What I have to really emphasize here is that even though you can find omega-3 in other products, you will never find the ratio of omega-3 vs. omega-6 that you will find in our oil.  We have a clear predominance of omega-3�15 to 1. Which means what? Omega-3 fights against omega-6 in our system because omega-6 at the times of premenstrual syndrome wants to produce these inflammatory hormones or substances that are the cause of our emotional distress and our pain and our bloating.

Tom: Do you think that the women in the world had as much problem before the vegetable oils got on the supermarket shelves and filled us with omega-6, which was a very unnatural thing to do?

Tina:  I think that omega-6 created a lot of the problems and I am not the only one saying and thinking this, it has been scientifically validated that an abundance of omega-6 in our diet does cause an inflammatory response in our body.

Tom: There is no doubt about that. Omega-6 is the gas pedal for those necessary inflammation reactions and omega-3 is the brake.

Tina:  Exactly, because it fights for those receptor sites against omega-6 and it wins by being a 15 to 1 ratio. So, instead of our bodies secreting this inflammatory interferon and interleukines it ends up secreting anti-inflammatories that fight against the inflammation. At the same time, we have the phospholipids that take care of our emotional world and we have the antioxidants in there that make us feel more energetic and younger and of course as women, we always want to be more beautiful.

Tom: You mentioned astaxanthin, Let�s get into that. Krill oil has vitamin A and vitamin E in very small amounts and those are famous necessary antioxidants. It also contains carotenoids, especially astaxanthin, is that it? 

Tina:  Exactly.

Tom: Isn�t this unusual? Don�t we find carotenoids in plant life mainly? Don�t we get it commercially from algae?

Tina:  Yes, astaxanthin is usually found in algae, but lets look at it this way, krill is called the magician of the ocean and the only thing a krill eats is algae.  So that�s why we see the flavonoids in there and that�s why we see the astaxanthin. What is very important about the astaxanthin in Krill is that it is 100% esterified, which means that it is completely metabolized in our body and only Krill gives you this type of astaxanthin in nature.

Tom: Tina you just said that Krill is the magician of the ocean�what else makes it a magician?

Tina:  Well, the reason why the call it a magician is because it only eats during the summer months.  So you have this tiny, tiny little organism the largest one you will ever find is 6 centimeters in length. Krill not only breed many times during the year but, it only eats 125 days during a year living in the Antarctic Ocean in extremely cold waters, therefore starving during fall and summer. 

Tom: The enzymes must be very special. Don�t enzymes love heat? Isn�t that why you get a fever when you get sick�so the enzymes will work faster?  It seems to me that in such an extremely cold environment, those enzymes or protein in that thing must really be something extraordinary to contemplate.

Tina:  Oh yes, absolutely.

Tom: Okay, so the magician of the ocean only eats 125 days. In the Antarctic, it's very cold and very clean, but ocean water itself contains all kinds of things�heavy metals for example. There's lead, there's cadmium, there's silver, there's mercury in ocean water.  This creature doesn't seem to be effected by those.

Tina:  No, it is not affected at all and we are very happy to say that. We went ahead and did a complete analysis of many samples of our oil. We tested for all the heavy metals, all the toxins, all the contaminants, PCB, pesticides, anything that could be a problem for marine products. We do not have any problem, we are below detected levels in all of that and as a matter of fact that is why the FDA did evaluate it and accepted it as a new dietary ingredient and considers it safe for human consumption.

Tom: Well it certainly is safe for whale consumption.

Tina:  Oh yes. Krill is the only thing that whales eat.

Tom: Now, the interesting thing is here you have this oil and you've been working with the women who have the premenstrual syndrome and I think we got off the path there when we were talking about the astaxanthin.

Tina:  Yes.

Tom: And you say it is 100% esterified and that means it is very readily absorbed and most of us have no idea what esterified means.

Tina:  Well, it means that the particular position of the double bonds and the ions and the molecule allow for it to be absorbed 100% from the body. What that means is that our body takes the full benefit of this astaxanthin. Whereas if it were not esterified our body would have to metabolize it and then utilize only 50% of it because the rest would not be metabolizable.

Tom: That's the same thing with the omega-3 phospholipids. They're already made into phospholipids so the body doesn't have to remake them.

Tina:  Exactly. Plus, our astaxanthin crosses the blood brain barrier and that is why we have seen such remarkable, remarkable results with children that have learning disorders like dyslexia or attention deficit.

Tom: Do you have clinical research on that one too?

Tina:  Well, we only have empirical data case studies we do not have a clinical trial yet but, from our empirical data we can say that there is a high probability that our research results will be extremely significant.

Tom: Now you're speaking like a real scientist. You always have to be very, very cautious in science because everything you do is going to be reviewed by your peers.

Tina:  Absolutely. And I have a title to maintain don't forget.

Tom: And you're doing beautifully. How about something like MS? Multiple sclerosis is a problem with the myelin sheath, I believe, and one would wonder that maybe this product would be helpful.

Tina:  Yes, MS has been one of our main considerations and it is in our pipeline for research to do. As a matter of fact, the president of the multiple sclerosis association in Quebec has already tried this product.  He has seen good results and we are talking together in order to get a research protocol going.

Tom: It seems you have an advantage already in that many scientists have to establish the mechanism of action. With this product, as you said, being nature's perfect recipe of phospholipids and antioxidants, might the mechanisms be presumed?

Tina:  Yes, they are very logical just by looking at the components of this product.

Tom: So, you now must merely verify what you are presuming?

Tina:  Yes, yes�the actions of the oil�the applications were very predictable and they are sill very predictable.  The hardest part about my job was actually getting the analysis of the oil done because we are dealing with novel molecules.  We are doing a lot of research on various applications, because we know what the mechanisms are. As I said, premenstrual syndrome is one of the applications. Our trial on high cholesterol and high triglycerides was just finished again with incredible results because we are the only natural product to not only be able to reduce cholesterol but to also reduce triglycerides and to increase HPL at a significant amount and at a very low dose.

Tom: When you say a low dose, what do you mean? For instance, we have our presentation in soft gels of 500 mg and one-gram sizes. So if a person is petite or small and so on, would 500 a day be enough?

Tina:  I usually recommend to people based on the data that I have, is there is a loading dose in the beginning. Let�s say that somebody is a small person, a petite person then I would recommend a loading dose of 2 500 mg soft gels a day for the first 2 weeks and then go down to 1 soft gel a day and that would be a great maintenance dose for them. If it is a normal weight person the loading dose would be 3 soft gels a day and then going down to 2 a day, meaning the 500 mg until it takes going down to 1 gram a day and then for a larger person it would be a much longer loading dose of 1.5 grams or 3 soft gels per day and then either depending on the size if it is above a 33 BMI, I would recommend that they continue with 3, if it is a lower BMI, I would recommend that they switch to 1 gram a day, but again depending on the purpose why they are taking it�right?

Tom: Well yes. I am concerned with several people I know who have heart rhythm problems. They want to maintain a heart rhythm and they have been told by their doctors that fish oil is something they should take, so when I suggested they try the Krill oil because that is the best of all fish oils, I was assuming that they should start off with a gram or two a day, I take 3 grams a day myself.

Tina:  Yes, I think it all depends on the reason why they are taking it. If they are taking it for a specific reason like that, I agree with you.

Tom: Well, now you can't take too much�can you? Except that you may be wasting money.

Tina:  There will be no harm in large doses because our clinical studies did prove that it is non-toxic. The only thing that may happen is that this will keep you so hyper because it is a boost of energy. The first thing that somebody notices is this incredible boost of energy and it will keep you so active that you won't be able to sleep if you take to much of it.  So, you have to take the right dose to keep your energy level at a decent stage.

Tom: That's interesting.  Well, in your clinical exam or clinical trials have you run across variables in different humans? After all, are all so variable I am wondering what the parameters are. Is everybody going to feel a boost of energy or only so many people?

Tina:  Actually 95% of the people have felt a boost depending on the dose.

Tom: It's pretty wide spread that they are going to feel a boost.

Tina:  Oh yes. And it is a very fast effect; it's usually from the first week they take it.

Tom: Okay, suppose a person takes a booster dose of two or three grams a day for the first 2 � 3 weeks, will his energy go down when he goes to just 1 gram a day?

Tina:  No not really, they maintain the same boost in the way that it keeps them activated. People say that they do not feel like they want an afternoon nap anymore. They say that they can concentrate in a complex mental posture. Because of the choline that is contained in it, because it is an excellent choice of choline, athletes say that they can train faster and have better results within their performance.

Tom: You're talking about the B vitamin Choline.

Tina:  Yes.

Tom: O.K. and that's a natural constituent of it?

Tina:  Absolutely.

Tom: How does krill oil lower the cholesterol?

Tina:  Well, first it has an anti-oxidative effect so there is no oxidation of the lower density lipids or LDL. Secondly, it works within the mechanism of lipid metabolism directly. The phospholipids are part of the mechanism that metabolizes the lipids to either heavy or low-density lipids and we all know that you want to have more heavy than low.

Tom: Right, now let's go back to the astaxanthin. This is a very powerful antioxidant and I stopped you from your explanation, so let's go back to the part about how we should be better able to absorb it because it is already esterified for us and there is quite a bit of it in the Krill oil that's not found in a lot of other things?

Tina:  The specific part about astaxanthin is that it is not found in any animal other than krill.  So the particular type of esterified astaxanthin found is to cause the blood brain barrier to allow it to pass, and to increase the metabolism of the component and also the metabolism of the complete product itself.  You can find astaxanthin from algae, but, as I said before, it does not work the same way in our body.  Our body cannot have the full benefit of it. It has been proven that esterified astaxanthin is beneficial for anti-aging as well as an anti-inflammatory and also as a protection for the cells against oxidative disorders, meaning anything from pure cell damage to complete carcinogenesis. 

Tom: Now, as a person who is an oncologist surgeon, surely you have to have taken a serious look at cancer with this. What have you learned so far?

Tina:  Well, we actually have done a study, a preclinical trial on the photo protective properties of our oil against cancer, skin cancer that is induced by radiation meaning light from the sun or from radiation in general.

Tom: Nuclear radiation is actually ultraviolet light, and we need this protection, what is the name of that cancer that is so bad?

Tina:  Melanoma, and what was very amazing, and truly it made us very happy to discover, is that even our topical application, which means applying it on the skin, had a significant effect. We were very happy when we saw that our suspended application, which means taking the soft gel by mouth gives you the same amount of protection as putting it on the skin. What does that mean? It means that for the first time ever you have a product, a capsule, a soft get that you can take by mouth and protect yourself from the sun so you don't have to worry whether or not you got wet and your sun screen lotion product or you're sweating or because of your clothes. Krill oil is an overall systemic protection and all you have to do is take the soft gels in the morning. That's it.

Tom: That's really interesting. And we are reminded that it is your job to verify these claims so that your company can make them.

Tina:  Yes, and we are applying at the FDA for them to allow us to make these claims because we have done the research. We have done everything the FDA requires, it's all a matter of then accepting it. But for now, we can have our proclaims that everybody else can have except that we have the science backing it up.

Tom: You're way ahead of a lot of folks.  Like you said, this is nature's perfect recipe.
Now, back to the astaxanthin. It is one of the family of carotenoids, and in nature it is their job to protect plants against sunlight.


Tom: Carotenoids are the color pigment of plants. Is astaxanthin a color pigment of the Krill?

Tina:  Astaxanthin is what give Krill the red color that it has. That's why they say when Krill passes through the ocean it changes the ocean red.

Tom: Yes, there are so many of them.

Tina:  Yes, exactly. It's the bright, bright red color and the reason that astaxanthin is more effective than all the other antioxidants is because it is the final product of the animal�s metabolism chain. Astaxanthin is the final product, which makes it the most efficient.  The way we proved that our oil has the most anti-oxidative properties and potency among all the other antioxidants on the market is by doing what they call the oxygen radical absorption capacity test. We asked Brentwood Laboratory to take the oil and put it to head-to-head competition against any liquid oil form antioxidant you can see on the market. So they took vitamin A, vitamin E, lutein and lycopene and put it to a head-to-head competition. The best one out of all of those was lycopene which had a 58 score. I have to say that the higher you go the better you are. Neptune Krill Oil scores an incredible 379.

Tom: That is phenomenal. Now if lycopene, which we have already been told by the world of advertising, is good for the prostate, then astaxanthin has to be even better.

Tina:  Absolutely. It is good for the prostate, not only as an antioxidant, but for the same reason that our future studies will be very much based on prostate and breast cancer is because it is also a hormone regulator and these are both hormone sensitive cancers.

Tom: That is very important.  I am in the dietary supplement business and I will not sell a hormone material because I think the body should make all its hormones only when the specific hormones are needed by the body.

Tina:  Well, I have to thank you for saying that, because you are absolutely right.

Tom: Well, I had a very, very bright medical doctor tell me that 35 years ago and I definitely believe it. At Carotec we refused to sell the popular DHEA for example. We want the body to make hormones, and Krill oil is a material that the body needs in order to make hormones at the right time and place.

Tina:  Yes, and to regulate it properly. That's why Krill oil is so effective with PMS.  It's a proper hormonal regulation.

Tom: I love to speculate on things like this! Sometimes it's useless but it seems to me that if the Krill only eats 125 days a year down at the south pole, that means it has to come up when the sun is brightest at the south and therefore it is on the surface of a very cold ocean getting a lot of the cosmic radiation from the sun at a time when it's metabolism is busy and therefore it needs this protection from the cosmic rays and that's why the astaxanthin gets so strong.

Tina:  That's why they call it the magicians of the ocean because even though they are exposed to all that they thrive.

Tom: That is amazing. Now, how many species are there of these creatures?

Tina:  There are 85 species. But, we only deal with a specific type of Krill, its called Euphausia superba, it's found at zone 48 of the Antarctic Ocean and we only fish a specific time of the season and a specific time of the day in order to be able to offer our clients a consistent product. Because you know better than I do that the problem with natural house products is that it is very difficult to keep consistency.

Tom: Most people don't understand it and I am so glad you said it.  For example, when you make an herbal extract, you have to extract ingredients from that natural plant at the right time of the year when it's a certain ripeness. You must have a specific variety or certain kind of plant that's grown in a certain kind of soil and you have to do it over and over again every year to have a consistent product.

Tina:  Exactly, and that is what we are doing with Krill.

Tom: Very interesting. They've got the Antarctic Ocean zoned out do they?

Tina:  Yes, it's the Committee of Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. The CCAMLR, and everything is controlled. They have the complete Antarctic Ocean zoned out and they run tests every so often in order to reassure that nobody is depriving a specific population of marine biomass. What was very interesting is that when it came to Krill�the last testing, the last measures were taken in the year 2000 and they were reported in 2001. They have increased the amount of Krill that can be taken because it is the most abundant biomass on the plant Earth.

Tom: That is amazing. Here, God really provided for us we just didn't know it.

Tina:  We just didn't know it, now we are fishing it but we are not depriving the environment from anything because we are taking less than 1% of what we are allowed. So whales still have plenty of food to eat,

Tom: I understand the Japanese have been eating the whole Krill for quite a some time.

Tina:  Yes they have. It is a delicacy in Japan. The problem is that you have to eat huge amounts of Krill in order to get the nutrition of one soft gel.

Tom: Because the technical papers have not yet been published, we can�t talk today about the exciting discovery of a totally new bioflavonoid you made. However, I have to ask you if there is a petition or something I can sign to encourage the scientific community to call the new flavonoid the Tina flavone, in your honor.

Tina:  I'm hoping; I mean I'm the one who started jumping first when I heard about it.

Tom: Folks, this is fascinating. Tina, we know the flavonoids have their own roles in health. Vitamin C needs flavonoids to do most of its work and I just wonder if we are going to be given an announcement of all the things this new bioflavonoid you uncovered will do for our health?

Tina:  Yes you will be given an announcement soon and you will get the information about why it is so much more active than other flavanoids that we know.

Tom: I want to be surprised when everything is published. We live in a world where you can't do just everything that pop's up and of course in your business everything is peer reviewed and in a way that is very good.

Tina:  Well, I need to validate everything because that is the way I was trained.

Tom: Well that's the way it should be too, because there are a lot of people out there making all kinds of wild claims. And I want things to be totally on the up-and-up. I do appreciate the way that you are being very careful in bringing this out.  Now, I understand that one man was fascinated by Krill and he is responsible for all of this now.

Tina:  Yes, that is true. It's all because of Mr. Henry Highland, Neptune Technology president. He had the visions, he saw where it was going, he saw what was in Krill even though he is not a scientist, he is an actuarian and he was able to bring all this together and to offer nature's perfect recipe in a small bottle.

Tom: Well I tell you, you have done a magnificent job, you know your stuff and I appreciate you being available.

Tina:  It was my pleasure, thank you for giving us your time, thank you for respecting our product the way it should be respected and the only thing that I have to say is that if everybody loves nature they have to love Neptune Krill Oil.

Tom: You're a wonderful spokesperson, thank you.
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